World, Incorporated by Tom Gariffo is a sci-fi dystopian novel set in the year 2058. Five Supercorporations, conglomerates of other corporations, run and govern every aspect of life. Sliver is an agent for one of these Supercorporations called World, Inc. He possesses near super-human ability and serves the shady and blood thirsty whims of the CEO of World, Inc. In this fast paced novel, we follow the adventures of Agent Sliver as he carries out increasingly more dastardly and dangerous missions. However, in a world of consumerism, fake news, and bloodshed, Agent Sliver’s most life-threatening act might be his slow discovery of his own suppressed humanity.
What do I think?
This novel has some thought-provoking ideas about the role of corporations, consumerism, and government in our lives. Gariffo clearly put a lot of thought into the economics and world events behind his vision of a dystopian future as evidenced by a series of fictitious news articles he wrote to chronicle society’s journey to the future. However, the world building really stops there. There isn’t much information in terms of every day life for the citizens, or how the Supercorporations really impact society.
The character-building is also similarly lackluster. Agent Sliver is not an engagingly written character. The reader is expected to sympathize with him early on and take it at face value that he is “intelligent”—despite him not showing much intelligence at all. His “friends” Kelly and Rex are also one dimensional and flat characters who exist solely to move the plot along.
Furthermore, the character Kelly fits every bad trope regarding women in fiction. Exist solely to move the plot? Have no real personality or growth? The only female character? Check, check, and double check.
It’s a shame because I really wanted to like this book. The politics and economics surrounding the rise of a society of consumers rather than citizens was extremely well thought out. The events mirror current US politics well enough that the evolution of Supercorporations is very plausible. The ideas are excellent, but the execution left me wanting more.
The final verdict
2 out of 5 –I wouldn’t rush to read this one; there are other books that deal with these themes in a much more engaging way
Note: I received a free copy of this novel from the author via OnlineBookClub.org in exchange for my full and honest review.